This seemed like a really good idea at the time. Mark was on fall break. He took the kids north to see cousins, aunties, uncles and grandma and gramps. I relished the alone time for about two days before I got really bored.
A marathon popped into my head as a project that might occupy me. I messaged my friends who run marathons to get feedback on whether or not a schlep like me could handle 26.2. To my horror, they thought this was a wonderful idea, that I would be able to do it.
I’m not the marathon type — I swear.
I signed up any way.
I remembered I have two children under four, a spouse and a home.
Then it dawned on me that I’ve got a career. And, a weekend job. And lots of goals, and laundry. Dishes, no dishwasher.
I printed out a novice training schedule and stuck it on my refrigerator. I taped one to my desk at work.
All these months, I’ve been plodding along, slowly, slowly, one foot in front of the other. I squeeze runs into my lunch break and set aside a hunk of time each Sunday for ‘the long run.’
The long run.
The long run, more than anything else, has me asking why. Why am I putting myself through this? Why? Why? Whhhhhyyyyyyyyyyyy?!?!
Of course, I had goals in mind when I signed up.
Namely, tying a fundraising effort to this run for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s spring push.
Also, I ate a lot of steak and icecream whilst pregnant. I’ve still got a coupla New York Strips and maybe like a few pints of Ben & Jerry’s just kinda …. lingering.
I’ve got a lot going on, and if I appear together here on this blog, it’s not an entirely accurate representation of me. Running has long helped me shed mental fat: stress. I have to exercise to keep my head on straight in this topsy turvy world.
I’m happier when I’m running.
All of these things are fine and good, I thought to myself around mile 6 today. I’m running for my son! And also, fitness. And also, stress relief! WOOOOO. Then around mile 9, I realized, that this @#$%’s getting old. At 10, my legs felt like lead. To distract myself from the sheer physical torture, I thought about writing about this run, this marathon. But, in what way? Where does this story fit into the scheme of things? What tired out old cliche story line and I going to project here — running for weight loss, for mental health, in honor or someone, for a cure? All of those things are true, yes, but the stories have been told thousands of times. I was on mile 11 it struck me:
PIE. Pie, glorious pie.
You know what got me through the last three miles? The thought of a sweet and delicious piece of pie after my run.
Should I go fried? A classic cherry? Apple — or how about Dutch apple. I could practically taste it.
Yes, I may have an altruistic goal driving the idea that I can run a marathon — but I’m going to need more than that when I’m huffing and puffing after a dozen miles. Even my health goals, born from a combination of vanity and necessity, aren’t going to get me through mile 12, 13… and on.
I’m going to stop kidding myself and just admit it: I am motivated by baked goods.
While I do plan to do this as a fundraiser, and hopefully shed some Haagen Dazs and tenderloin, and maintain mental strength and clarity, I would also like to use this marathon as an excuse to eat more pie. Probably a lot more pie.
Think about it:
How much better does a treat like pie make some bland or monotonous obligation, like a mandatory meeting. It goes from “Meh, meeting, ug,” to “OOOOOOh baked goods!” Replace meeting with 15-mile run. Yeah, there, you get it.
What pies are out there that I haven’t yet tried? My God, there is a whole world of pie yet to be discovered. I always thought of pie as a special occasion food. I’m throwing that out idea the window. GONE.
Pie embodies happiness better than any other baked good. Don’t even try to argue.
Plus, I need it to run, that pie on a stick.
Of course, I had this grand idea on a Sunday, when nary a pie joint is open in OKC. Bake my own? HAHA. It hasn’t yet come to that.
This week, Mark, Laila, Eli and I will venture into a new world, the world of pie, together.
We’ll each take a big bite, and smile.